Drinking and Driving Can Lead to Serious Charges

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Mar 08, 2024 | 0 Comments

Edward Johnston, 25, was indicted on a charge of aggravated manslaughter and was issued a summons for driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless driving. Police say Johnston was drunk and driving 107 miles per hour on White House Pike Road in Absecon in the early morning hours of July 23 when he slammed into a parked car, killing 8-year-old Javier Velez, who was sleeping inside while on a fishing trip with his father. Responding officers subjected Johnston to a DWI test and recorded his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at 0.122% — much higher than the state's legal limit. In New Jersey, a person is guilty of driving drunk if they get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or greater.   

A DWI charge is tough enough on its own, but when you're charged with DWI-related crimes, including manslaughter, you need a good attorney on your side. Manslaughter is among the most serious crimes a person can be charged with. It's a form of criminal homicide distinguished from other types of homicide due to the element of malice. According to New Jersey law, a killing is considered manslaughter when the defendant: 

  • Recklessly causes the death of another person or 
  • Commits a crime that would normally be described as murder except that the offense was committed in the heat of passion 

Manslaughter charges can be elevated to aggravated manslaughter under certain circumstances, such as when the defendant: 

  • Recklessly causes the death of another person under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life or 
  • Causes the death of another person while fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer 

A conviction can lead to serious legal penalties in New Jersey, including 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000 for manslaughter or 10 to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000 for aggravated manslaughter.  

Lento Law Firm's Criminal Defense Team 

DWI-related criminal charges in New Jersey can result in long-term consequences. If you face DWI charges, you need a team of experienced criminal defense lawyers who will work tirelessly to build a strong case in your defense — a team that will stand beside you and fight for the best possible outcome. The Lento Law Firm's Criminal Defense Team has defended people throughout New Jersey against DWI-related criminal charges.  

If you have been charged with a DWI-related crime, you have the right to due process of law, which includes fair and impartial proceedings, the right to present evidence in your defense, and the right to challenge evidence presented by the prosecution. And, importantly, you have the right to have an attorney present during questioning by law enforcement and throughout the criminal proceedings. The lawyer you hire can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Contact the Criminal Defense Team at Lento Law Firm today at 888.535.3686 or through our online form, and let us build a strong case in your defense. 

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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​​​Contact The Lento Law Firm Today

When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

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